Story & photos by Noah Kutz
For some children and families, the most wonderful time of the year can prove to be one of the most difficult. Fortunately, there are kind-hearted donors who work to ensure that each person in the community experiences a joyous holiday season.
Volunteers from St. Andrew’s church recently assembled for a night of giving in order to serve foster parents and their children in a Christmas extravaganza.
The celebration included a spaghetti dinner, Christmas-themed arts and crafts, seemingly endless amounts of cookies and a guest appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Friendly faces smiled across the room while children’s laughter filled the air, creating an ambience of peace and joy which is often too hard to find for many of these foster kids.
Malissa Geer, a representative from Catholic Charities Community Services who helped oversee the event said:
“These families are opening up their homes to additional kids, and a lot of times for kids that are coming from trauma or very complex relational systems. So the gift that the volunteers and the church give is coming around and supporting them so that they don’t feel isolated in these relationships.”
For several years, this charitable event has come to the West Chandler area to support foster families and give each child the same holiday traditions and opportunities that other children in the community experience around Christmas time.
Approximately 443,000 children remain in the foster care system in the U.S. today, and many of them stay in the system for nearly two years.